The White Golden Retriever: Lifespan, Facts & Intelligence

If you have never seen a White Golden Retriever before, you will definitely raise an eyebrow when you encounter one. I bet you might even mistake him for a yellow Lab hybrid at first glance!

You might not know it yet, but Golden Retrievers range from vivid mahogany to cream. These pooches also sport a very light coat, and thus, the moniker “White Golden” was coined. But despite their golden personality, the American Kennel Club favors the rich shades of gold exclusively and does not permit any other coat color.

So, how do White Golden Retrievers came to be, and are they better than the others? Read on and be better informed about this beautiful pooch. 

white golden retriever

What is a White Golden Retriever?

The English Golden Retriever is a subtype of the Golden Retriever and because he is very light in color, many people would call him the “White Golden.” But funnily enough, a White Golden Retriever isn’t actually white!

History of the Breed

In the mid-19th century, bloodsports like wildfowl hunting were among the Scottish elite’s favorite pastimes. The aristocrats needed a dog that could retrieve shot quarry from both water and land, as the hunting grounds were marshes, boggy roads, and rivers.

To achieve this goal, the existing retrievers at that time were crossed with the best water spaniels. Each sportsman back then was free to breed his own line of retriever, including the first Lord Tweedmouth, Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks.

In 1865, Lord Tweedmouth bought a retriever pup named Nous that had a dark, thick, and wavy coat. Three years later, Lord Tweedmouth bred Nous to Belle, which was a cross between the  St. John’s water dog and the water spaniel native to Northumberland.

Ultimately, Nous sired the famous litter that became the basis of the baron’s ambitious breeding program. His goal was to develop a robust and intelligent gundog that would also carry a friendly and calm demeanor. Eventually, the first Golden Retriever was introduced in England in 1908.

The Kennel Club recognized the Golden Retriever in 1913. Shortly after, these golden boys skyrocketed to fame and made their way across to the Land of Milk and Honey. In November 1925, the AKC registered their first retriever under the name American Golden Retriever.

All Golden Retrievers descended from Nous, but decades of transatlantic breeding has caused subtle variations in the breed. As such, there came three sub-types of Golden Retrievers: American, Canadian, and English.

Appearance

The White Golden Retriever falls under the English category, which is prevalent throughout Australia and Europe. But despite the moniker, this canine isn’t truly white. Also known as the “English Cream Golden Retriever,” this pooch comes in cream and light shades of gold according to the UK breed standard.

AKC dog shows aren’t so accepting of these colors and prefer rich and lustrous golden hues. Coat colors that are either extremely pale or dark are considered undesirable.

Moreover, the White Golden features a soft and silky medium-length coat with wavy feathering around the ears, neck, and tail. He is also stockier and bigger boned than his North American counterparts. Likewise, he has a more muscular neck to carry a slightly larger head, and a wider muzzle to boot.

With a level topline and straight hindquarters, the White Golden Retriever emanates a proud, regal appearance.

Size and Weight

Although White Golden Retrievers are stockier than their American counterparts, these canines are shorter.

In the UK, male Goldens are 22 – 24 inches tall at the withers, whereas American Goldens are 23 – 24 inches tall. As with any breed, females are a couple of pounds lighter and a few inches shorter than males. The average female English Golden is between 20 to 22 inches.

The Kennel Club did not specify the expected weight, but healthy Goldens mostly weigh between 65–75 pounds.

Temperament

White Golden Retrievers are as good as gold! Gentle and sweet, these well-mannered pooches are a fabulous addition to any family especially to those with kids. These guys also tend to be naturally patient and caring, which makes them the perfect companion to the sick and elderly.

These lighthearted Goldies love to frolic as well, but they’ll put off playtime and cuddle up to you if you are feeling under the weather. Funnily enough, these affectionate canines think their love can cure all!

My only gripe with Goldens is that they are too friendly with everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if your Goldie wags his tail while a burglar unmounts your TV! Likewise, a dog so loyal and affectionate as the White Golden Retriever will not do well when left alone for a long period.

Behavior

Golden Retrievers are notable for their exemplary behavior, but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of doing canine crimes. Destructive chewing is commonly observed in Goldens, especially when they are trying to ease their boredom.

Among the best ways to kick this unwanted habit is to keep your pooch busy with mentally stimulating games and release his pent-up energy through exercise.

You’ll also need to give your Goldie stuffed toys and safe, long-lasting chews. If you catch him munching a chair table, you’ll have to redirect him to his toys and reward him immediately for performing the appropriate behavior.

Health

Golden Retrievers, in general, are healthy canines when bred responsibly, and the English ones or so-called White Golden Retrievers are no exception. But as with any purebred dog, there are certain health issues more prevalent among this breed, and these include:

  • Allergies
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye disorders
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Luxating patella
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Von Willebrand Disease

Not all Golden Retrievers will develop any or all of these conditions, but you need to be aware of the risks if you’re considering this breed. To maximize your chances of getting a healthy pup, you’ll need to get one from a reputable breeder.

Good breeders are happy to provide you with the health history of the dam and sire. Two dogs with quality pedigrees have higher chances of producing a healthy litter of puppies compared to those with unknown medical histories.

Quality breeding lines combined with optimal care by the pet parents are the key for Goldens to live a long happy life. And if you’re lucky, your furry pal might live up to 12 years!

Grooming

Golden Retrievers are prolific shedders, and the White Golden is no different. These guys will have a heavy molt twice a year — in the spring whereby they shed their dense winter coat and in the autumn with the process happening again in reverse. During this time, you’ll need to brush your Goldie’s cream-colored coat at least once a day, lest it will get matted quickly.

To keep your White Golden Retriever looking pristine, you’ll also need to bathe him at least once every two weeks, preferably with a brightening shampoo made with natural ingredients. Don’t bathe your pooch more than once a week unless he comes home after rolling in the muck. Golden Retrievers have sensitive skin, so you need to be extra careful with the products you use.

Feeding

Do you know why Goldens are one of the easiest breeds to train? Aside from their intelligence, these food-motivated dogs will do everything for the treats! Their weak spot is food and they seem to have an abysmal appetite to boot.

That being said, don’t leave food hanging around in areas your talented gorger can reach. A Golden Retriever who always stumbles upon unattended food is a candidate for obesity.

On average, a Golden Retriever pup needs ⅓ to ½ cup of puppy food three times a day to ensure proper growth. By the time he is an adult, he will need 2 to 3 ½ cups of high-quality kibble daily. Veterinary experts advise feeding your pet with an age-appropriate formula to ensure he receives optimum nutrition and protection against a number of diseases.

Then again, this is only a rough draft. The exact amount of food your pooch needs will depend on the nutrient density of the dry kibble or canned food. You will also consider his weight, health condition, and activity level.

Therefore, it is wise to ask your vet for recommendations when it comes to Doggo’s diet. And to prevent gluttony bloats, you may also want to invest in an automatic feeder to stop your pooch from eating too fast or stealing food from another pet’s bowl.

Price and Costs

The price of a White Golden Retriever pup ranges between $500 to $1000. Meanwhile, puppies from champion bloodlines can fetch anywhere from $2,500 or more. The price will vary depending on the pedigree and show the status of the dam and sire, as well as the breeder’s reputation.

Maintenance

Golden Retrievers, regardless of color, are energetic as the sun! While this happy bunch is quite adaptable to urban and suburban life, they need at least an hour to exercise their right to play and goof around.

Given their history, these dogs love the outdoors, especially around bodies of water. Spending the weekend on rivers, lakes, or beaches can be a real treat for them! Not to mention, swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise.

Trainability

Aside from being an exemplary hunting dog, the Golden Retriever has long reigned as the best service dog next to the Labrador Retriever. You can see this talented breed engage in competitive events and search-and-rescue missions to boot.

But as with human children, Goldens will not grow up to how you want them to be without your intervention. Early and consistent training is a must! Fortunately, training is straightforward and enjoyable with these food- and toy-driven pooches.

Goldens also develop a single-minded focus when you give them a task, which is to be expected of the world’s 4th most intelligent canine breed.

Who is this Breed For?

Upland and Waterfowl Hunters

If you want to make most of what nature has to offer, you’ll enjoy the company of the White Golden Retriever.

Train him to hunt, and he will give you his all! From wild turkeys to flying geese, you can expect your canine to deliver the angry bird in one piece.

When or where to hunt is also out of the question because this avid hunter remains an excellent field performer no matter the weather. His affinity for water makes him a natural swimmer and he has a water-repellent coat to boot.

Physically Challenged Individuals

Golden Retrievers, regardless of color, are ideal for physically challenged individuals, as well as for those needing emotional support. These good-natured canines are naturally sensitive to people in pain. 

Being an intelligent breed, he needs only little training to be of service. Additionally, he is capable of coping with new challenges and adapting to new environments.

Another reason why this breed is heavily favored as a guide to the blind is his sharp memory for routes. What’s more, he concentrates on the task at hand. Taunting squirrels or malicious-looking felines will not draw him away from his duties.

Families with Young Kids

Kids can be rowdy when playing with their furry siblings and as such, it sometimes leads to injury to the dog and vice versa.

However, not all canines have a wealth of tolerance. Some dogs would snap back at a child out of fear or worse, give a split-second response that you and Doggo will both regret later. The situation could be more dangerous if you have a toddler who simply can’t respect canine boundaries.

On the sunny side, white Golden Retrievers are gentle as they come, making them excellent playmates to small children. While these dogs are energetic during playtime, they are unlikely to intentionally bite or knock over your child. These dogs are incredibly patient, which is great for little kids who might be pulling ears and grabbing tails.

Homes with Cats

Are you a cat person or a dog person? With white Golden Retrievers, you don’t have to choose! These guys can get along fine with other pets of the home. There is no guarantee that El Gato will love Mr. Doggo, but you can be sure there won’t be a war lurking inside the house.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 types of Golden Retrievers?

The Golden Retriever has three subtypes: American, English, and Canadian. English Golden Retrievers are a lot paler compared to their American and Canadian counterparts, which is why they are often referred to as White Goldens.

Can full-blooded Golden Retrievers have white on them?

A small patch of white fur may pop up in the chest or near the muzzle of American and Canadian Golden Retrievers, especially those from the field lines. While these dogs are nonetheless purebred, having white hairs is unacceptable in the conformation ring.

Conclusion

The White Golden Retriever is not a brand new breed, but rather a subtype of the Golden Retriever. The reason for this widespread confusion is because of the fact that the Kennel Club and American Kennel Club have different breed standards. The latter does not register Goldens with light-colored coats.

Hence, don’t get fooled into believing they are “rare platinum” Golden Retrievers because some people are just misinformed and backyard breeders are likewise trying to make a huge profit.

While light-colored Golden Retrievers are indeed uncommon in America, you’ll find them prevalent in the UK where they are simply called Golden Retrievers. Nothing fancy!

These British Goldens are also somewhat stockier than their American counterparts, but they share many similar qualities and attributes. These charming beasts are smart, playful, and devoted to their family!

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